This layer cake delights with its classic pairing of lemon and blueberry. Delectable cream cheese frosting combines with the moist blueberry-laden layers to create a tangy treat sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
(1) If this is your first time making a layer cake or you encounter any problems while making it, I would highly recommend you refer to my post on Layer Cake Basics.
(2) I used a little icing sugar to coat the sides of each cake layer, giving the overall rustic naked cake appearance with it’s white-washed facade. This was purely for aesthetics, and can be omitted if you prefer cleaner lines.
(3) For decorating the cake, ideally use blueberries of similar size. Given the natural variation in size usually found in each punnet, placing the larger ones in the outer circles and the smaller ones in the middle will give the best results.
Lemon and Blueberry Layer Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes a four layer 15cm (6”) cake and serves 8-12 people
Lemon and Blueberry Cake
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g (1 1/3 cups) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 300g (2 cups) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 100ml whole milk
- 180g fresh blueberries
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 200g cream cheese, softened
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 480g (3 cups) sifted icing sugar
- 1–2 tsp lemon juice
- 125g fresh blueberries
- Icing sugar (to lightly coat cake)
- Lemon zest (optional)
Lemon and Blueberry Cake
- Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced) and grease or line two 15cm (6”) cake tins with greaseproof paper.
- Place butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in a free-standing mixer with paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time continuing to beat on medium speed until light and airy. Scrape sides of bowl down with a spatula after each egg to ensure ingredients are well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then add 1/3 of these dry ingredients to the batter and beat on low speed to combine.
- Add 1/3 of the milk to the batter, then continue to alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk and beating on low speed until combined. Take care not to overbeat.
- Divide batter evenly between cake tins, weighing the tins to ensure equal volume, then divide blueberries evenly between tins, pressing them in gently below the surface.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for approximately 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire rack. For easier assembly, chill cakes 30-60 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat cream cheese, butter and sifted icing sugar until light and smooth.
- Add lemon juice to desired flavour, but take care not to add too much as you don’t want the frosting to become too soft.
- If the frosting is a little soft – refrigerate for 15-30 minutes to firm slightly before assembling the cake. When ready to use, place frosting in a piping bag with a large round nozzle.
- Assembling this cake is easiest when the cake and frosting are both slightly chilled.
- Level each cake by slicing off the cake domes, then cut them in half lengthways to yield four cake layers in total. Use the base of one layer for the base of the cake, and the base of the other layer (turned upside down) for the top of the cake to avoid crumbs in the frosting.
- Place icing sugar in a large plate or tray, and gently run the sides of each cake layer in icing sugar, dusting off excess. This gives the white-washed appearance of the finished layer cake.
- Place the first layer on a round cake plate or turn-table and pipe a layer of frosting on the top, starting at the periphery and working your way in, then place the next cake layer on top and gently press down. Repeat frosting and applying each layer, smoothing the top layer of frosting with a palette knife.
- Arrange blueberries a circular manner atop the cake.
- Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30-60 minutes to allow the layers to set together.
- Sprinkle with lemon zest and a dusting of sifting icing sugar, and serve cake at room temperature with a clean sharp hot knife.
Credits and Sources
Ceramic cake stand by Anna Wallace Ceramics
Napery by Red House VT
I just came across your blog today…through this recipe! And I’ve gotta say, it looks absolutely amazing. Guess what cake I’m making today?! Haha – YUM! Your photography, too, is gorgeous! xo
Thanks for the lovely comments and so excited to hear you are making this cake! Hope you enjoy it ☺️
I plan on making this today and then making a 4 your journey with it tomorrow. What is the best way to prepare it for car travel? Should I just not?
Hi Kelly, thanks for your query and lovely to hear you are interested in making this cake! I think you have a few options, depending on your situation. Option 1: Bake the cake and frost and decorate as described, ensuring you do it on a cake board, then package it in a large cake box or container, with some mechanism to prevent it sliding around and touching the sides of the container. I often use a little bit of double-sided tape to adhere the bottom of the cake board to the container. Option 2: Bake the cakes (and cool and cut it into layers) and make the frosting, then assemble the cake at the venue. Make sure you take everything with you that will be necessary for assembly, including blueberrries, lemon zest, icing sugar, piping bag and nozzle, palette knife, extra spoons and plates, etc. Option 3: Reserve making this cake for a time when you’ll be eating it closer to home! Out of all the options I would probably do Option 3 to be completely honest. It can be a little risky travelling with a layer cake, and in particular I’m used to living in warmer climates where cream cheese frosting won’t withstand the heat for very long out of the fridge. If you really don’t have the option of not taking the cake, I would then do Option 2, and package the frosting in a esky or cooler bag. Bear in mind as well though that this cake (as with all layer cakes) will slice into neater layers if allowed time to rest in the fridge for a few hours after assembly prior to serving (and depending on your destination you may not have this amount of time or facilities to do so). If you decide to make it, best of luck! It’s a lovely cake with great flavours and the baking and assembly isn’t too tricky as far as layer cakes go. Happy baking!
Hi there, absolutely love the look of this cake and I’ve decided to make it for my son’s birthday. Can I make the cake the day before and refrigerate overnight? I was planning on doing the frosting on the day but could this also be done in advance and refrigerated?
I’m so glad to hear you are making this cake for your son’s birthday, I did the same and my little one loved it!
You can definitely make the cake the day prior and refrigerate it, which is what I usually prefer (it’s a lot less stressful than baking on the day!). Regarding the frosting, you can do either – the same day or the day prior. Again, I prefer doing it the day prior as it allows time for the layers of frosting and cake to set together, resulting in neater slices when cutting the cake. If you frost the cake the day prior, I would recommend keeping it in an airtight container in the fridge, so the cake doesn’t dry out (being a naked cake it will have a greater tendency to do so compared with a fully frosted cake). If you opt to frost it on the same day, it can help to give the cake an hour or so in the fridge anyway to allow the layers to set together. The cake will taste best at room temperature though, so removing it from the fridge an hour prior to serving is ideal. The blueberries can be placed on the cake on the day of serving to stay fresher if preferred.
Hope you have a great time baking and hope your son enjoys it!
Any tips on how to make this vegan? (just the cake layers, I’m going to try a different buttercream)
Hi Clare, thanks so much for the query. I’m sorry though – I don’t have a lot of experience in vegan cake baking, and the few recipes I’ve tried to adapt previously have turned out horribly. I would recommend checking out recipes from a few of my other favourite bloggers – Kayley McCabe of The Kitchen McCabe and Alanna Taylor-Tobin of The Bojon Gourmet – they are usually my go-to bloggers when I’m baking a recipe that requires alternative grains/flours/sugars and often they have adaptations in their recipes for vegan diets.
Beautiful photos! I plan on making this as a birthday cake, but can’t manage to find 6 inch cake pans anywhere (in Canada). Any suggestions for the baking time in a 9 inch pan instead?
Thanks for the query. I’m delighted to hear you are interested in making this as a birthday cake. I understand it can be a bit tricky to source 6″ cake pans in store, although you should be able to easily purchase them online if you prefer to stick with the original recipe. I purchased mine from a store specialising in speciality kitchen items, and I know others who have headed to speciality cake stores instead. If using 9″ pans – you may be better off making 1.5 – 2x the recipe, then baking the cakes as four separate layers (instead of two cakes and dividing each one), as the larger size cake layers will be a bit more challenging to cut. If doing it this way – you would probably be looking at a similar baking time (or even slightly less), as each cake layer will be thinner. Also – bear in mind that the aesthetic will be very different, as 6″ or 7″ layers give the illusion of a much taller cake when the layers are stacked, due to their smaller width. Regardless – the flavour should be the same and I hope the birthday boy or girl enjoys it!
Hi! Can’t wait to make this beautiful cake!! do you have an US measurement conversion? Thank you so much!
I’m delighted to hear you would like to make this cake – it is certainly one of the most popular cakes on my blog. I’ve found it easiest to provide measurements in all my recipes in weight to allow fellow bakers worldwide to convert recipes as desired. The quickest option would be to use a kitchen scale that has grams, or else manually convert grams to pounds or ounces (100 grams = 0.22 pounds = 3.5 ounces or use an app or google) and then weigh out the ingredients. Hope that helps and happy baking!
Hi! I made this today and it was beautiful but just not lemon-y enough for me (and I added 2Tbs of lemon juice!) Is there any way to add more lemon juice without ruining the batter, i.e making it too runny? Is there anything else you’d suggest?
Thanks for the comments and I’m delighted to hear you recently baked this recipe, but I can appreciate you may have wanted more lemon flavour, as this is not one of most potent recipes for the true lemon lover. This cake has a more subtle, delicate balance of lemon and blueberry for those that enjoy that combination. For a more lemony flavour, I would recommend trying a recipe that incorporates a lemon curd or a lemon syrup or glaze, where the lemon flavour will be quite concentrated and shine through. My Lemon Curd and Coconut Cake recipe is quite popular for this reason, so you may want to give that a go instead, and perhaps add blueberries on top for decoration? Alternatively, you can add more lemon zest or lemon essence to the cake better for this recipe, but I have a feeling if you are after that real ‘pop’ of lemon flavour, you may find this still not enough. Hope this helps and happy baking!
Does this require 2” deep or 3” deep cake pans (6” diameter)? Thank you. Just made it in 2” deep and it’s about to go overboard!
Thanks for your query. I usually bake this cake with 3″ deep cake pans (6″ diameter). I am terribly sorry for not specifying and your batter going overboard! I hope you managed to at least have a double layer cake and enjoyed it with the cream cheese frosting and fresh blueberries. Apologies again and best of luck with all future baking endeavours!